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“It's all about the play.  Skylight's focus is on bringing the writer's vision to the stage and our programs are built to achieve that. We believe in the power of the artist to transform lives, and in the theatre it all starts with the writer's words.” – Gary Grossman, Artistic Director



Skylight’s professional playwrights-in-residence laboratory is key to our mission to nurture and promote new works that speak to today's audience. Membership is by invitation with participants focusing on creating a brand new work from scratch each year. The session culminates in LAb Works, a public festival of selected new plays by the members. The brainchild of Skylight’s Producing Artistic Director, Gary Grossman, and the award-winning playwright and screenwriter Shem Bitterman, starting in 2018 renowned playwright Lee Blessing will lead PlayLAb.

"The intent of PlayLab is to provide a space both physical and psychological to encourage and support the creation of new plays.  Skylight is dedicated to the development of new work by writers of proven talent." – Lee Blessing PlayLAb Director

How to Apply*

Membership is limited to a handful of writers and is by invitation only.

When: Applications are now closed. Next submission period will be in 2019.
How: The 2019 application process will be announced. Check back for details.

* Deadlines and requirements are subject to change without notice, so please check the website for the most up-to-date information

Program Overview

  • Writers pitch initial project ideas to the members, brainstorming and working out the kinks before writing their new play
  • In additional group meetings, members meet individually with PlayLAb Director Lee Blessing
  • Private in-house readings: The completed first drafts of member plays are read after seven months.
  • LAb Works: A festival of the year’s completed plays performed in public readings. All members are encouraged to attend and support their fellow writers at these public readings
  • Members have access to:
    • Skylight Theatre Company stage & staff for rehearsal
    • A wide casting network of Skylight Theatre Company artists
  • PlayLAb Alumni are an important part of the Skylight Artist Family. They remain part of the Skylight's company, connected with PlayLab and the Play Reading Series with continued access to Skylight's stages and personnel.

Lee Blessing PlayLAb Director

Lee Blessing's plays include:

"A Walk in the Woods" (Broadway and London's West End), "Going to St. Ives" (Outer Critic's Circle Award, Best Play, Obie for Ensemble Performance), "Thief River" (Drama Desk nomination, Best Play), "Cobb" (Drama Desk award, Best Ensemble), "Chesapeake", "Eleemosynary", "Down the Road" "Courting Harry" and "For the Loyal" (currently running at Interrobang Theatre Project in Chicago).

The 1992-93 Signature Theatre Season featured four of his plays:

"Fortinbras", "Lake Street Extension", "Two Rooms" and the world premiere of "Patient A".

Recent world and regional premieres include:

"Minneapolis/St. Paul", scheduled for January, 2019 at the New Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco; "A Body of Water" at the Guthrie and Old Globe Theatre; "Great Falls" at the Humana Festival of Actors Theatre of Louisville; "Lonesome Hollow", and "Whores", both at the Contemporary American Theatre Festival; "A View of the Mountains" at New Jersey Repertory Company; "The Winning Streak" at the George Street Playhouse; and "When We Go Upon the Sea" at Interact Theatre and 59E59 Theatre in New York.

Other plays include: "Independence", "Riches", "Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music" and a loose trilogy on race in America, "Black Sheep", "Flag Day" and "Perilous Night".

Additional awards include: the Steinberg/American Theater Critics Association Award (twice), the L.A. Drama Critics Award, the Great American Play Award, the Humanitas Award and the George and Elisabeth Marton Award, along with nominations for Tony and Olivier Awards and designation as Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

For the list of the 2018 PlayLAb resident writers, use link toward the top of the page.


LA County Arts Commission

Skylight's INKubator Artistic Development Program is supported in part by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission

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